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Blue Zones announces new executive to expand and advance proven life radius model

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Blue Zones announced today that it has named Lynn Richards as the new senior vice president of policy and implementation. In this newly created position, Richards will play a critical role leading policy design, innovation, and implementation in Blue Zones communities.

“Lynn brings a wealth of experience and passion to this new role, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome her onboard,” said Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones. “I am impressed by her vision and her track record in using powerful and data-informed interventions to advance public policy and shape communities across the country for the better. Policy is the most powerful lever we have to drive lasting well-being transformation and provides the greatest return on investment. On behalf of all our colleagues at Blue Zones, we could not have dreamed of a better leader to join our purpose-driven calling to empower everyone, everywhere to live a better, longer life.”

Blue Zones welcomes Richards after an extensive search. Richards is a recognized national leader in achieving meaningful policy change and has 25 years of experience driving powerful interventions to shape better cities and towns. Most recently, she was the CEO for the Congress for New Urbanism, where she launched groundbreaking initiatives and authored research and legislation. Prior to CNU, she had a distinguished career at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), holding multiple leadership roles over 13 years including Acting Director and Policy Director in the Office of Sustainable Communities.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Blue Zones team. State and local governments across the U.S. are seeking ways to improve well-being, lower healthcare costs, improve productivity and enhance regional economies," said Richards. "Blue Zones applies a holistic yet context-sensitive approach that systematically assesses a community’s challenges and opportunities to meet the health and well-being goals they have identified for themselves. That is exactly where — and how — I want to work. My professional goal for decades has been to accelerate the pace of change — to empower state and local governments to do more to meet their goals. I feel working with the Blue Zones teams and communities is where I can make the biggest impact and biggest contribution.”

Blue Zones is currently rolling out the largest-ever Blue Zones Project across the entire Adventist Health geographic footprint and is exponentially increasing the number of Blue Zones Project communities across the country. Richards will play a key leadership role in evolving and expanding the design and implementation of Blue Zones policies that improve well-being and economic vitality at the community level as the country rebuilds.

About Blue Zones®

Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better. The company’s work is rooted in explorations and research done by National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner in Blue Zones regions around the world, where people live extraordinarily long and/or happy lives. The original research and findings were released in Buettner's bestselling books The Blue Zones Solution, The Blue Zones of Happiness, The Blue Zones, Thrive, and Blue Zones Kitchen—all published by National Geographic books. Using original Blue Zones research, Blue Zones works with cities and counties to make healthy choices easier through permanent and semi-permanent changes to our human-made surroundings. Participating communities have experienced double-digit drops in obesity and tobacco use and have saved millions of dollars in healthcare costs. For more information, visit